A visit to the doctor can be intimidating, difficult and stressful. It is important, however, to overcome the stress and intimidation to get the best care. Doctors should not only tell patients everything they need to know, but patients should also ask questions to make sure they are getting the right tests and are knowledgeable about all of their options. The failure to do so can result in medical mistakes with life-long consequences.
Building a Strong Relationship
It is important for doctors and patients to have strong relationships, and good communication is a major building block for this relationship. Patients should always be honest with their doctors and should not be afraid to ask questions.
The doctor has responsibilities as well, and ought to be invested in the patient's health. Medical professionals should give their patients all of the information they need to have in order to really weigh their options.
There are five questions that should always be asked before a doctor puts a patient through testing:
- What are the options?
- What are the risks and benefits of each option?
- Can the testing wait?
- What will the results tell us?
- How do I learn of my results?
These questions will help patients truly understand why they are being tested, whether the testing is necessary, and what the testing will show.
Doctors Stepping Up to Help
It is also important for doctors to take their time in order to stop unnecessary spending and to protect patients from receiving unneeded treatment. Examples of testing or treatment that are often done too quickly are EKGs for low-risk patients or automatic prescriptions for antibiotics to treat sinusitis. These are things patients should ask their doctors about before they receive the testing or treatment.
Sometimes, unnecessary testing and treatment causes more harm to the patient. Doctors who inappropriately treat their patients or make medical mistakes may be held liable for the injuries caused. People who have been injured by a doctor's mistake should consider contacting a personal injury attorney specializing in medical malpractice to discuss taking action against the doctor.